Politics Should Steer Clear of Dirty Money

Politics Should Steer Clear of Dirty MoneyPolitics Should Steer Clear of Dirty Money

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli appeared before parliament on Sunday to provide explanations about his remarks on "dirty money" and its possible effects on the process of elections, ISNA reported.

Rahmani Fazli said he first brought the issue of dirty money up last year in a gathering of police commanders leading the fight against drug trafficking, explaining the destructive consequences of the revenues from drug smuggling.

"I warned how the earnings of drug smuggling activities can affect the country in terms of security," he said, adding that the money might even be used to fund terrorists.  

The minister said if officials are not careful enough, "smugglers and owners of dirty money who seek the support of the ones in power might penetrate the field of politics by (trying to affect) mechanisms like the transfer of power through elections (using their resources)."

Rahmani Fazli said he has even raised the issue of dirty money in the UN, explaining to international authorities how terrorist groups can abuse the money they earn from smuggling and urging them to take measures to control drug trafficking. He said the UN had welcomed his remarks.

The problem of dirty money is not limited to a certain country, he said, adding that despite numerous plans and measures against  money laundering across the world, still major countries such as the US or European countries are seriously faced with the problem.

  Economic Implications

Rahmani Fazli said the money that comes from smuggling can harm the economy by undermining competitiveness and setting off capital flight.

"If not stopped, dirty money finds its way in all fields," he warned.

However, he said, in the Islamic Republic, all activities need to be based on "religious and revolutionary beliefs."

"If we want to run a healthy and resistant economy, we need to deal with dirty money as a cause of corruption," he said, adding that addressing the issue can help the country achieve the objectives of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The issue of dirty money can be seen as an important matter in economic, social, security and political fields, he said.

Referring to one of the major problems in the country, namely lack of financial discipline, the minister said when he was in the Supreme Audit Court, he had several times raised the point that there is no reliable information revenues and expenses in the country.  

He then called for the establishment of an integrated mechanism for identifying and supervising all revenues and expenses.

Rahmani Fazli said he had asked the Majlis to hold a closed session on the issue so that "enemies of the Islamic Revolution" cannot take advantage of the figures that might be brought up during the hearing.

On the media coverage of his remarks on dirty money, he said he had raised a national problem that was misused by some groups, adding that he expects the legislative and judicial branches of government to deal with those found guilty of offending conduct.